To shed light on the issue of suicide, Embrace Fund organised a walk at 5AM on September 21, 2014 along one kilometer of the Beirut coast reaching Pigeon Rock marking the end of the walk.
With Suicide still being a taboo topic in Lebanon, numbers were on the rise. In 2014, 1 person would commit suicide every 3 days. Starting from these numbers, a 3×1 rectangle contained the boundaries of the installation.
The memorial wall was placed facing the Rock with which people could interact, placing photos of lost loved ones and leaving notes on its surface. The time-frame was one week; from the initial commission to the delivery.
Pigeon Rock was the symbol for suicide in Beirut. So many people had chosen to end their agonizing lives there. Though a beautiful landmark in Beirut, one cannot but attach it to this tragedy.
The wall was made of recycled cardboard cylinders of different sizes and lengths. They linked together in a way that allows people to walk in between, place their candles, pin photos of their loved ones, and write encouraging words that lets others know they are not alone.
Embrace, an NGO affiliated with the American University of Beirut Medical Center continues to raise awareness of this dilemma and offers help to whoever is in need.
It aims to fight the stigma of mental illness and funds the necessary treatment for those suffering from mental illness and cannot afford its high costs, and it is currently working at phase II of a suicide hotline; the first in Lebanon and the Middle East.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness and need help, do not hesitate to contact them at the following number: +961 1 350 000 Ext: 7828-5658
For more information, and for inspiring stories from others who have passed through this and found the way out:
You are not alone.